Gov. Dickson Urges Ijaw Youth Leaders To Promote Peace

Environmental SanitationThe Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson has urged Ijaw youth leaders in the Niger Delta to close ranks and promote the peace and unity of the Ijaw nation everywhere.

Gov. Dickson, who spoke when he met with Ijaw leaders across the Niger Delta, who paid him a solidarity visit, says development could only thrive in an atmosphere of peace.

The governor expressed serious concerns over issues of power tussle and internal wrangling for positions in the Ijaw National Congress (INC) and the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) stressing that, he does not endorse factions for elective positions within the Ijaw ethnic nationality.

While commending the leaders for their solidarity and support, during and after the last gubernatorial election in the state, he noted that, as patriotic Ijaws who came out in defence of the common interest of the Ijaw people, when it was needed.

“You gave me your support when it was most needed for the sake of the Ijaw nation, to defend it at a very critical period”, Dickson said.

However, on the reports that he had ceded a portion of land to herdsmen for grazing, Dickson described the rumour as the handiwork of his detractors, who he said are afraid of his rising profile and trying to incite Bayelsans against him and the herdsmen.

“I will not allow herdsmen to have clashes with our farmers in the state, and that is why the government has taken a proactive step to provide a grazing area, the Bayelsa palm to forestall insecurity.

“Some people are inciting Bayelsans to violence against herdsmen and fellow Bayelsans.

“After now, the government will arrest any herdsmen found with cattle in our communities.

“The action of government is in the best interest of Bayelsa and the Ijaw nation”. He said.

In his remarks, the State Commissioner for Culture and Ijaw National Affairs, Mr. Austin Dressman commended the leaders for their solidarity visit, noting that, Governor Dickson’s love for the Ijaw nation was unflinching.

He however, urged other Niger Delta governors to emulate the government in Bayelsa.

Ijaw Youth Council Swears In President

Comrade Udenz Eradiri has today (Thursday) been sworn in as president of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) with other elected officials.

Eradiri, while assuring the youths of his preparedness to serve, noted that “with the pronouncement of a national dialogue by President Jonathan, we are being given the opportunity to stand on the path of truth and a chance to speak up on issues that will better the lot of Ijaw people, with purpose and dedication we will answer this call of history as a united people”.

After the oath taking, the new executives were presented with the Ijaw flag, the constitution and a Bible by the electoral commitee chairman, Comrade Sunny Diri Diritolofari, which signifies the mandate of the Ijaw youths.

Tolofari, said the ceremony was to confer on the new officers the mandate and power to pilot the affairs of Ijaw youths. He said the election was free and fair, and that the president-elect, Comrade Udenz Eradiri, defeated the other candidates to be declared the winner despite the protests by some aggrieved candidates.

In his post-inauguration speech, the new president recalled the struggle to better the lot of Ijaw people, saying his administration would tow the same path. He disclosed that the IYC under his leadership would reach out to similar youth organizations across the country to find solutions to the myriads of challenges confronting Nigeria.

The newly-sworn in IYC president also set up a committee on national dialogue.

The committee which is made up of past Ijaw youth leaders like alhaji Asari Dokubo and others, is saddled with the responsibility of meeting with youths of Ijaw extraction to know their needs and agitations to enable the Ijaws speak with one voice at the proposed national dialogue.

He also extended a hand of brotherhood to those who lost out during the elections to come join his team in taking the Ijaw Youth Council to greater heights.